Roasted rack of spring herb lamb and printanière of spring vegetables

This delicious meal will impress your guests

Roasted rack of spring herb lamb with a printanière of spring vegetables
Roasted rack of spring herb lamb with a printanière of spring vegetables
(Image credit: John Bentham)

This delicious meal will impress your guests

Roasted rack of spring herb lamb

Cooked traditionally and with a minimum of fuss, this is a truly wonderful main dish, perfect for a Sunday lunch with friends or family or a chic, more formal dinner party. And it looks great, too. The main difference here is that the herbs aren’t added prior to cooking but just afterwards, and while the meat is still hot. This way, the herbs retain all of their flavour and none of their freshness is lost.

2 racks of French-trimmed lamb A little olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper Fresh herbs such as flat-leaf parsley and rosemary, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7/220°C/ 425ºF. Place the racks of lamb in a roasting tray, leaning them against each other and interlocking the ribs so they stay upright. Brush with a little oil and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then lower the temperature to gas mark 6/200°C/ 400ºF, for another 15-20 minutes for juicy, pink meat. If you prefer your lamb a little less rare, add another 5-10 minutes. 2. While the lamb is cooking, chop the herbs very finely (you can do this in a food processor). Place them on a plate, ready to cover the lamb later. 3. Once cooked, remove the racks of lamb from the oven. (Keep the juices in the roasting tray, because you will be using them to coat the vegetables. Just skim off the fat and set the tray to one side until needed.) Carefully roll the lamb on the fatty side in the chopped herb mixture – use a tea towel or a napkin to hold the ribs if they’re too hot. Place on a warm plate, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes or so while you cook the vegetables (see right). 4. To serve, slice each cutlet between the ribs just before placing on a plate with the printanière of vegetables.

Printanière of spring vegetables

A printanière is quite simply a mixture of any vegetables, usually tossed in a little hot olive oil, cooking juices or dressing just before serving. Use any combination from the list below.

Cherry tomatoes Salt A little olive oil Baby asparagus, trimmed Baby carrots, sliced in half lengthways Baby turnips, quartered Baby courgettes, cut into small dice Very small onions, halved Peas Broad beans, shelled Juice of 1 lemon Bag or punnet of pea shoots

1. Place the tomatoes in a small dish, add a little salt and a splash of olive oil and put them in the hot oven for around 10 minutes, just so they begin to collapse and the flavours start to combine. 2. Meanwhile, blanch all the remaining vegetables, except the pea shoots, for 2-3 minutes in boiling water; drain. 3. Warm the meat juices in the roasting tray on a fairly high heat. Just before serving, add the vegetables and tomatoes. Toss to coat, add the lemon juice and then the pea shoots. Serve on a warmed plate.

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